Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Tornadoes and Floods

Three storm chasers were killed last week in a crash in Texas.  They were following a tornado at the time.  Dash cam video shows they were running stop signs and generally acting reckless.  My sympathy to their families.  I've railed against this practice in the past.  These expeditions seem less about science and more about thrill seeking, plus getting on TV.  In this case, it was the Weather Channel.  If there is some consolation in this, the storm chasers killed each other.  They didn't kill some innocent parent, rushing to get their children to safety.  This really has to stop.

I've been mentioning Susquehanna River levels a lot lately-- here, Facebook, Twitter, and on our weekend morning broadcasts.  Let me tell you why.  By the way, the shot above was taken last week, as the Susquehanna was on the way up.  I'm on the Pittston side of the Water Street bridge.

Born and raised here.  Thankfully, I've always lived out of the flood plain.  There was a change in this area after the Tropical Storm Agnes flood of 1972.  We became hyper sensitive to storm, river and flooding issues.    With every storm and flood, it's become even more intense.  I get that.  I read your emails and take your telephone calls.  It doesn't take much of a storm to trigger a round of concern.

Another way in which I consider myself lucky is that I watched river reporting veterans David DeCosmo and Kevin Jordan as a young radio reporter, and I eventually had the honor of working with them.  They knew how the Susquehanna, and every creek flowing in to it, behaved.  Kevin left us a few years ago.  David is retired.  I hope I carry on a wee bit of the knowledge.

I made several references to river levels, even though the Susquehanna at Wilkes-Barre stayed below flood stage for one simple reason.  There are times you need to know you don't have to worry.